By Vanessa Ho
If you are a patron of Bard on the Beach, then you’ve seen us around the Bard Village. We are the folks in the red apron that take your ticket, we are the ladies and gents in the red vests that hand you your program or show you to your seat. We are the fun group of people behind the counter in the black aprons that pour you a beer or hand you that bag of Bard Mix or help you buy a Bard quote T-shirt. We are Bard volunteers. There are over 200 of us that contribute well over 12,000 hours a season.
I’ve been volunteering since 2009 but been coming to Bard since 1993 where my first ever Bard show was Romeo and Juliet. It was my love of Shakespeare and my history with Bard that led me to volunteer.
When people ask me about volunteering at Bard, I always call it the best part of my summer. Who doesn’t want to spend a Friday night or a Saturday down by the beach?
I’ve pretty much done all the volunteer jobs at Bard except for being an usher and have loved everything I have done.
Most often I am a Village Greeter handing out programs or helping people find their sections before the show. During intermission, I am on Potty Patrol in Toilet Town. You probably know who I am if you’ve been treated to my little comedy routine to help make the bathroom line-up a little bit more fun by calling out Porta-Potty numbers as if I am a bingo caller or an auctioneer. Who says you can’t have fun while peeing.
When I am not in the Village, you will also find me in concession/bar. Behind that counter there is such a sense of camaraderie and teamwork that you’ll have your drink and snacks in hand before you even get a chance to take out your wallet. Now if only my math was better.
The greatest thing about volunteering at Bard is meeting fellow volunteers, young and old, who all share one thing in common: a love of theatre and Shakespeare that we pass onto the many patrons that we meet at every performance.
If I were to sum up my Bard volunteer experience in one word it would be…fun!